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Centre users take town centre opportunity

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Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.10.37MULTI-TALENTED service users at Llanelli’s Coleshill Centre are helping to unlock the potential of Llanelli town centre, as opportunity beckons. 

The extraordinary range of crafts they produce are for the first time available to purchase on the High Street, with users having taken occupancy of 31, Stepney Street Llanelli. The property has now formally opened for business (Jan 18) with Coleshill orchestrating a long-term plan of occupancy as all the projects that feed into the shop meet the criteria for the Vibrant and Viable Places Regeneration Framework Tackling Poverty Fund

The Centre is occupying the ground floor formally with a number of themed sales events covering Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day and the spring and will be running through the year. In the past, their only outlets have been at craft fairs about the county. The Coleshill initiative is planning a long and successful future in a reborn Stepney Street. In securing the retail venue at 31, Stepney Street, it has provided various projects with the opportunity for the wider engagement within the community for learning, training and social inclusion opportunities.

The shop has been sectioned off into two floor spaces. The frontage is to be the retail part of the project where there will be locally made produced crafts for sale and the back section is where the crafters came and make their products on sight. The range of wares will be from bespoke and highly crafted pens, carpentry items and ceramics to bags of paper wood bricks for the fire or barbecue that can be produced by the least capable service users.

Coleshill hopes to provide through the retail unit social skills, training, employment support initiatives, a better high street environment and at the same time raising the communities awareness of disabilities and peoples abilities and improving their health and wellbeing. The long term plan with a working group of all interested parties being set up is that craft projects throughout Carmarthenshire will be pooled into one resource based at 31, Stepney Street.

Maralie said it was important that the individual crafters and community took ownership of the shop which was why a steering group to voice how the shop is run was being set up and ensure it became a self sustaining operation. They planned to attract individuals from the community and help them gain and maintain their health and well being as a preventative measure not a reactive measure.

The property was made available and has been refurbished by Carmarthenshire council with the support of Welsh Government Opportunity Street funding. The local authorities Communities Department offers several day opportunity services producing bespoke high class crafts. The individuals who attend these services have a varying level of differing needs. Those benefiting will include the economically inactive, unemployed individuals with disabilities, financially excluded and those involved in community including and participation.

Executive Board member for social care and health, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “You cannot fail to be impressed with the astonishing skills of crafters and service users at Coleshill. It is tremendous they now have a permanent base to exhibit, sell and create their wares in Stepney Street.”

The Council is refurbishing two other Stepney Street properties into which the council is hoping entrepreneurs with business nous will step up to the plate to help reinvigorate the town centre. County executive board member for regeneration Cllr Meryl Gravell said steady and positive progress was being made with the Opportunity Street initiative that boded well for Llanelli town centre. Three properties had now been acquired. Number 31, was rushed into service days before Christmas as a pop-up shop to assist Coleshill successfully clear surplus Christmas stock.

A planning application for the renovation of the two other premises, No’s 10 and 12, has been submitted for the purpose of creating improved commercial spaces on the ground floor and a total of four new two-bed flats on the first and second floors. A new rear access with parking provisions have been included in the proposals. Construction will be programmed once planning consent is secured with a view to completing works within grant timescales which are up to April 2017. And there could be more properties to come with the Council driving the initiative with Welsh Government support to help reduce high street apathy, absent landlords, and empty properties.

Executive Board Member Meryl Gravell said: “We are still in discussions with in regard of acquisition of another premises. Terms are yet to be agreed however good progress has been made following lengthy dialogue. We hope to secure more sales by March end 2016.”

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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